February 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM
The Fort Report is back for another year! Every Monday during spring training, we will be detailing all the Red Sox minor league news and notes from the week that was down in Fort Myers.
Here are this week's minor league notes:
- The SoxProspects.com podcast is back for the 2016 season. This past week, Chris Hatfield, Matt Huegel, and Ian Cundall discussed the newest prospect ranking lists from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com, and ESPN.com's Keith Law. This led to a discussion about top prospects Yoan Moncada (pictured, right), Rafael Devers, Anderson Espinoza, and Andrew Benintendi. They also answered some listener questions, highlighting Austin Glorius, a 2015 undrafted free agent signing out of Valdosta State.
- Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe wrote a piece on Danny Rosenbaum, who will be healthy for the first time in a while in 2016. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Rosenbaum pitched through discomfort and struggled mightily last year, but the 28-year old pitched well in the Arizona Fall League and is ready for a fresh start 2016. Soxprospects.com currently projects Rosenbaum to begin the year in the Portland bullpen, as the Red Sox see him as a reliever.
- Abraham also wrote about Henry Owens, who looks to lock down a spot in the starting rotation. Owens feels more prepared this season, having thrown 180 innings for the first time in his career. He also had to adjust to pitching with more weight last season. Owens was able to generate a lot of swing-and-misses last season and will focus on having a majority of those come in two-strike counts this season.
- Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com took a look at each team's crop of position player prospects and ranked them. The Red Sox rank second on the list, behind the Colorado Rockies, with Moncada, Devers, Benintendi, and Sam Travis highlighted.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes that the Red Sox could have invited Benintendi to big-league camp, but decided that it was more important for him to report to minor league camp. Manager John Farrell suggests that this will help tone down the hype and pressure surrounding the youngster as he embarks on his first spring as a professional.
- Christopher Smith of MassLive.com wrote about which prospects could make an impact for Boston in 2016. Smith mentioned SoxProspects.com's top 10 prospects list in his piece.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com wrote an interesting article on Pat Light, who had been tipping his pitches. Alex Cora, Light's manager this past winter in Puerto Rico for Caguas, noticed that Light was tipping his pitches early in his delivery. After Cora made Light aware of the issue, he pitched very well, throwing 11 1/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA and 10 strikeouts in winter ball. Light will likely begin this season in Pawtucket's bullpen and could be an option for Boston this season should injuries surface.
- Bradford also wrote about Roenis Elias and his difficult journey to the United States and Major League Baseball, which included leaving Cuba at three o'clock in the morning on a small boat for a ride that lasted 30 hours.
- Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com also wrote about Elias, who could compete for either a role in the rotation or one of the final bullpen spots. He will likely be competing with Tommy Layne in the bullpen and Joe Kelly and Owens in the rotation. John Farrell is looking forward to seeing Elias throw in person for the first time. Elias has 49 career starts at the big-league level with Seattle.
- The Red Sox are also slowing things down with Christian Vazquez, according to Bradford, after a minor scare in his surgically repaired elbow turned out to be scar tissue related.
- Alex Speier wrote about Benintendi's power stroke for Baseball America.
- Baseball Prospectus released their Red Sox top 10 prospect list, which included nine players from SoxProspects.com's top 10 list. Austin Rei was the exception, coming in at number 10 for BP. He is ranked 36th here at SoxProspects.com.
- As part of BP Boston's Roster Recap series, Brian Joiner wrote about Michael Kopech, Matt Collins wrote about Luis Alexander Basabe, and Brett Cowett wrote about Deven Marrero.
- Tim Britton and MacPherson of the Providence Journal talked with Speier of the Boston Globe about timetables for Red Sox prospects that are rising and getting a lot of attention on The Providence Journal's SuperTwo Red Sox podcast.
- The Gurriel brothers, Yulieski and Lourdes, recently left Cuba and are looking to sign on with a major league club. Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com writes that it is unlikely the Red Sox will pursue either of them. Boston will likely be unable to sign 22-year-old Lourdes because they eclipsed last year's international bonus pool, although if he waits until October to sign, he will no longer be subject to those pools.
- McAdam also chatted with Red Sox Director of Player Development Ben Crockett on CSNNE's The Baseball Show podcast. Crockett talked about the mental side of development and discussed top prospects like Espinoza, Devers, and Moncada.
- Joon Lee of Over the Monster took a look at pitchers who are non-roster invitees to Red Sox camp and outlined what potential impact they could have this season.
- Brian Johnson recently threw to batters for the first time since August, which was a big deal emotionally for him, as Speier writes for the Boston Globe.
- Ian Browne of MLB.com talked with Sam Travis and wrote about how he has impressed the Red Sox with his advanced approach at the plate.
- Baseball is back and the Red Sox are ready to open up their spring schedule against Boston College and Northeastern today. Stephen Wright will start against Boston College and Sean O'Sullivan will start against Northeastern.
- Lastly, Rob Bradford managed to catch some video of Red Sox top prospects taking batting practice: Moncada, Devers, Benintendi, Michael Chavis.
Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada by Kelly O'Connor